SEVIS Fee & US Student Visa: What it is and how to pay it?

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Piyush Kohli
Study Abroad Expert
Updated on Nov 10, 2021 16:42 IST

SEVIS Fee & US Student Visa: What it is and how to pay it?

While applying for a Student Visa for USA, students often come across the term SEVIS Fee. It is, in fact, the first step of applying to the US Student Visa. But what is it?

SEVIS or The Student and Exchange Visitor Information System is the web-based system of U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The purpose of the system is to maintain information on the Student and Exchange Visitors to the country. In simpler words, it is an internal databank of all non-national students/ exchange students travelling to USA. It keeps a record of all your details, the reasons for your US travel. The department requires the sponsors (in your case, the university) to register with the department. In effect, your university does the same when they offer you the admission and provides you the SEVIS Number on the I-20.

On the students’ part, students are required to pay the SEVIS Fee, which is at present at USD 350. Students are recommended to pay this fee before they start filling their Visa Application Form (DS 160) as the receipts of the payments are sent by post and might take up to 15 days to arrive. Also, the receipt, in original, would be required when you submit the documents.

How to pay the SEVIS Fee?

SEVIS is paid online with help of a credit card. Students can also pay by a bank cheque but that would delay the process by at least 3 weeks and is not recommended. In case you do not have a credit card, you could ask either of your parents to pay the same for you. Here is a step-by-step breakup of what you need to do.

  1. Log on to
  2. Click on ‘Submit Form I-901 and Fee Payment’
  3. Read the instructions carefully, select the radio button for I-20 and click ok
  4. It would open a form. Fill the form with the details. Note that the details should exactly match your I-20. You would be required to provide your personal details, the SEVIS No. (Shared in your I-20), and the address
    1. It is very important to give the address which would have UPS Delivery as your SEVIS Receipt would be mailed to you and you would need this receipt at the time of your visa interview.
  5. Select whether you want standard or expedited delivery of receipt. Standard delivery does not cost you extra and you usually receive it well in time. Do provide your contact number.
  6. Select a Payment Method. Note, you can pay it online by credit card or through cheque. A Credit Card is preferred.
  7. Provide Card Details. It would be charged $350 at the existing exchange rates. Please make sure that the card you are using has that balance and can be used for international transactions.
  8. The system would populate a receipt. Please print out the same.

Once you have paid the fee, you can start with filling your DS 160 form.

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About the Author
Piyush Kohli
Study Abroad Expert

With a plethora of knowledge of the education domain, Piyush Kohli has been involved with study abroad for over 5 years and counting. He comes with prior experience on the complexities of the study abroad applicatio... Read Full Bio


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